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The Australian Government has allocated $5.8 million to the three-year Australia-India Critical Minerals Investment Partnership following a similar agreement with the Republic of Korea last year.

The partnership is set to unlock mutual benefits for both countries from Australia’s world-leading critical minerals sector.

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said Australia and India are natural partners sharing mutual strategic and economic priorities.

“This partnership will support further Indian investment in Australian critical minerals projects,” Pitt said.

“It is the first of its kind and represents a step-change in how countries can work together to support key industries and pursue growth opportunities.

“Our combined capabilities will take on the challenge of resourcing the emerging technologies used in sectors such as defence, aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, telecommunications and agritech.

“India is forecast to become the world’s most populous country within two years. Its fast-growing economy will create more trade and investment opportunities, so it is important Australia continues to build close ties with India.”

Last year Australia and the Republic of Korea created a new agreement on critical minerals that will strengthen cooperation in resources and energy.

The memorandum of understanding on cooperation in critical mineral supply chains was signed when President Moon Jae-in visited Australia to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Pitt said Australia will work closely with India to identify potential critical minerals investment opportunities, including technical and due diligence exercises which can assist the development of a business case for prospective Indian investment in Australia.

“With our vast quantities of development-ready critical minerals projects and reputation as a reliable trading partner, Australia is a logical choice as India looks to secure its supply chains,” Pitt said.

“The partnership will encourage strong, strategic supply chain partnerships, including through technical studies that will support investment in Australian critical minerals projects.”